Unlike movies and video games, comic books have had a bit more of a friendly relationship. While not all comic book video games are masterpieces, some can even be downright terrible, there are some that can really capture the essence of the original material and suck the player into its universe with proper story-telling or amazing gameplay. So without further ado, here are the top 10 comic book video games of all time. Let's start off with:
10. The Punisher Arcade Game
Let’s start this list right by going back to the retro time of arcade machines and quarters. You play as Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher in this old-school side-scrolling beat 'em up. The game follows Punisher and Nick Fury as they beat petty criminals to a pulp as you fight and shoot your way to take down the very large Kingpin. As a special bonus, this game is also two-player where a friend can play as Nick Fury, how fun is that? This game can be easily downloaded to play on an emulator today and you should definitely check it out.
9. The Punisher (2005)
Now this is an underrated gem. If you want a 3D game starring the gun-toting vigilante that stays true to his character, then look no further, you have found that exact game. The game is a tie-in to the 2004 Punisher film that follows the story Howard Saint’s son surviving the bomb at the end of the movie and becoming Jigsaw where he vows revenge on The Punisher. The Punisher incorporates fun shooting and combat mechanics that you would expect from a Punisher game but the real selling point of this game is interrogation/torture techniques you can inflict on your enemies that include dismemberment. The Punisher also includes cameos from other popular Marvel characters such as Iron Man, Black Widow, Nick Fury, The Kingpin, Bullseye and even Daredevil who Punisher usually clashes with in the comics. If you want to dust off your PS2 and play a real comic book gaming gem, this would be the one.
8. Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Until 2005, The Incredible Hulk never really had a successful run at video games. A lot of the time, Hulk games could not fully embrace the destruction and angry personality that was the Hulk. Thankfully, Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction broke that string of bad luck with the concept of an open world to smash with your bare hands. You play as Bruce Banner who has exiled himself away from society so that he can attempt to cure himself of the Hulk. Unfortunately, Banner's old foes Emil Blonsky and General Thunderbolt Ross locate Banner and attempt to capture him.
This causes Banner to transform into the Hulk and go on the run from the army and from Emil Blonsky who transforms himself into classic Hulk villain, Abomination. Ultimate Destruction offers gamers the chance to do with Hulk what they did in Spider-Man 2 but with more death and destruction. It was hectic, it was crazy, and it was great fun. If you get a chance to play this game then you better take it.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
This one was a no-brainer to put on this list. What is considered to be one of the greatest, or the greatest, beat’ em up game of all time, you get to play as one of the four turtles and take down The Shredder with a friend. Turtles in Time had fan service oozing out of it’s cartridge with boss fights against some of your favourite baddies, a fun storyline that took you to different places in time including prehistoric times, the western, pirate times and even the future. Not much more I can say about this game except… COWABUNGA!!!!
6. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
I talked about this game in my list of Top 15 most underrated games so I won’t go into too much detail about. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows follows Spider-Man after another encounter with Venom and he gets paired with the alien symbiote again. Web of Shadows then takes on a new Spider-Man story where the symbiote has taken over the city of New York and Spider-Man has to deal with moral choices in how to deal with the situations. The game also gives you the ability to be able to change from the Black suit to the Original suit and level up abilities offered by each suit.
You can also team up with other heroes and villain (quite out of nowhere to be honest) and kick more butt than before. While there aren’t a whole lot of good Spider-Man games, this is one of the best.
5. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Even though I’m not a DC or Batman fan at all, I still cannot deny how awesome Arkham Asylum was. I know some people are going to wonder why I didn’t put Arkham City on this list and while that was a really good game as well, I can’t help but notice that Arkham Asylum really built up an atmosphere of being stuck in an insane asylum filled with Gotham’s most deadly and craziest foes. The free-flow combat is fantastic and the stealth gameplay is some of the best that I’ve ever seen in a video game… nice try Spider-Man Noir but you got nothing on the Dark Knight. The moments with Scarecrow are just mesmerizing and really dive into the psyche of our tormented protagonist.
Even though the ending is a little underwhelming and some boss battles are a little disappointing, the game is still really entertaining and highly recommended.
4. Spider-Man 2
Easily the best Spider-Man game to date. The first and only game to perfect the free-swinging environments of New York City combined with the crime fighting experience of a superhero. I don’t even know where to start with this game, I love it so much. The action fighting mixed with free-roaming swinging is just fantastic, the boss battles are action packed and pulse pounding and fighting real crime with the wall-crawler is every fanboy’s dream. Based on the movie of the original trilogy, it follows Peter Parker/Spider-Man as he tries to stop Doctor Octopus from finishing his dangerous science experiment and destroying the city; but, along the way, he’ll go against Shocker, Mysterio, Rhino, and even Black Cat.
You can even save the day by thwarting bank heists, muggings, people about to fall off buildings and even retrieving balloons for little kids. Yeah, the combat can be wonky at times but the game is fantastic nonetheless and if you are a SpiderFan, then I highly suggest you pick yourself up a copy… Just stay away from the PC version… And Spider-Man 3
3. X-Men Legends
You ever wonder where Marvel Ultimate Alliance got the idea for their game design and gameplay? X-Men Legends' selling point was that you can play as an array of your different favorite X-Men characters in a single four person team. X-Men Legends follows the popular Marvel team as they battle against Magneto and his brotherhood of mutants, including Blob, Mystique, Sabretooth, Juggernaut and many more. Also, the story includes another plot point where a beginner mutant named Alison Crestmere is training to become one of the X-Men, soon to take on the mantle of Magma from the comics.
X-Men Legends offers gamers fun RPG gameplay that you can enjoy with up to three other friends. There is a reason this is widely considered the greatest X-Men game to date.
2. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Yeah, we all knew this one was going to appear on this list. Arguably considered one of Marvel’s greatest games, it takes everything that fans wanted with a game about superheroes. Team-building, tons of playable characters and a good amount of cameos from our favorite marvel characters. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance follows a group of heroes assembled by Nick Fury to take down Doctor Doom who has assembled all the villains to make a super group called 'The Masters of Evil.' You can play as some of your favorite Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Blade, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Daredevil, Moon Knight and so many more and you can also create your own superhero team of your favorite heroes and level them up. You can also unlock different costumes and special abilities of your heroes to make them more efficient in combat.
Be sure to pick up Marvel: Ultimate Alliance soon because they are becoming harder and harder to find… And to answer your question… no, the sequel is not nearly as good as this one but it was a decent try.
1. Telltale Games's 'The Walking Dead'
I fought this one for quite a while but I couldn’t deny it anymore that The Walking Dead is quite possibly the greatest comic book video game of all time. It takes all the ideas and themes from the book and even the TV show and makes them really work in an engaging and emotional whirlpool of a game. The game puts you in the shoes of convicted murderer Lee Everett who gets into an auto accident on his way to the prison and crosses paths with a little girl named Clementine and more survivors who are just trying to survive the infestation of “walkers.”
The story constantly throws in difficult situations that require hard decisions that could mean dire consequences for you or someone you care about. Every single one of your decisions impacts the situation and people around you. If you want to give this game a go, be ready with a box of tissues next to you because the game will definitely try to tug at you heart strings.